Thursday, November 6, 2008

Quirks of the Deutsche Sprache

At times, the German language can be quite funny in how literal it seems to a native English-speaker. Perhaps I need to just take a better look at English as well, though. Following is a short list of things that are sort of odd in the German language from an English perspective. Given more time, effort, and initiative, I could definitely add to this, because I know there are TONS more examples. Feel free to add suggestions.

Glove = Handshue

Yes, that's hand + shoe

Mietwagen = Rental Car

And if a butcher rents a vehicle to make deliveries, well then I guess it works in both languages.

Nachrichten= News

Nothing special, but the interesting thing is you can use Nachricht as a singular, as in

Ich habe ein gutes Nachricht für Sie
I have a good "new" for you.

Leiter = Ladder
Feurzeug = Lighter

This has caused confusion several times, like when I got confused stares for needing a ladder to start a Bunsen burner

Food and drink = Lebensmittel

Literally, the medium of life. Which is, of course true.

Meat = Fleisch
Body = Korper

It's not just the accent. Some things in German just sound more offensive because they sort of are.

Protein = Eiweiß

Ei is egg, weiß is white - so yes, protein is actually called eggwhite.

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